Monday, May 28, 2012

Celebrate good times!

May 22, 25, 27
Were special days for the office!
On May 22 Elder Oliver celebrated his birthday

May 25 was Maria's birthday
May 27 was Ana's birthday
because we were on the road we declared
Tuesday, May 29

"Él día de la Ana y la Maria"
and all the office celebrated at
Crepes y Waffles

Life just wouldn't be the same without the help of
Elder Oliver, Maria, and Ana
They deserve to be celebrated for all they do to help us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Missionaries are arriving one by one...hurrah, hurrah...

Elder Mindiola
Arriving from the Northern part of Colombia...costeno, as they call them!
Arrived Saturday, May 19, 2012
Weather complications in Bogota delayed his flight.
Although we went to the airport to greet him...we went back to Cali empty handed.
Our able assistants picked him up, trained, fed and delivered him to us on Sunday.

Elder Aldunate (picture to come) from Bolivia
arrived on Thursday, May 24, 2012
Visa complications delayed his arriving with the May group.
He was picked up by the assistants, interviewed and trained in the office
and sent off to Tulua to begin his missionary labors
Better late than never...

Hermana Redondo was set apart as a missionary in the San Fernando, California mission
She is from our Popayán District.
Due to Visa problems, she is begining her missionary service in the Bogota North mission and anxiously waiting for her Visa to arrive.

Élder Lancheros is off to Santa Cruz Bolivia to serve as a full time missionary.
His family came with him for his setting apart and then we all went off to the airport to see him off.

Proud dad...sad mom...anxious missionary...see you in two years!

Monday, May 21, 2012

How many Presidents does it take???

At the end of April we traveled to Peru for
training with our Area Presidency...Elders Pino, Uceda, and Waddell.
Colombia is part of the South America Northwest Area which includes
Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
There are 24 Mission Presidents and 2 MTC Presidents (Bogota and Lima).

Who these Presidents represent is the great responsibility they carry...
thousands of missionaries,
about a million members,
stake, districts, ward, branches
and many children, grandchildren, and family members who are
either with them or at home praying for them.

What a privilege to serve the Lord with these great men and women.

Friday, May 18, 2012

We did it...(again)...May zone conference

Monday - Medellin (2 zones)
Wednesday - Super Cali (6 zones...1/2 the mission)
Friday - Pereira (3 zones)
Saturday/Sunday - District Conference Armenia
Monday - release and say goodbye to a missionary
Tuesday/Wednesday - Pasto
Today....Zone leader council

We DID it...another round of Zone Conferences
combined with life coming and going in between!
This round of zone conferences was all about the role of the Spirit
seven tools to bring the spirit into your teaching.
It was a great spiritual feast to be with these representatives of Jesus Christ. must be Medellín
Medellín Zone
Belén Zone must be SuperCali!

Here we are looking out over Cali
and by the expressionson our faces, we still haven't figured out what to do with this city!!
 Tuluá Zone
Palmira Zone
Calima Zone
Villa Colombia Zone
San Fernando Zone
Popayán Zone
Elder & Sister Oliver and Sister and Elder Torgerson
Elders Novoa, Vera, Almendares, Belnap must be Pereira
Manizales Zone
Pereira Zone
Armenia Zone

MONDAY - Goodbye Elder Gonzalez
Elder Gonzalez finished his mission and headed home to Chile
with the help of our able secretaries...Elder Novoa and Elder Vera

TUESDAY/ must be Pasto
Pasto Zone must be Zone Leader Council
We have 7 new zone leaders that joined us this last change.

Our zone leaders are wondeful

...and this is how we feel when it is all over!
These assistants are amazing and we really wear them out!

A National treasure

With the visit of Doctor Henderson and his wife
(area medical advisor)
President and Sister Wakefield
(Bogota Temple President)
we decided to treasure up a little bit of the beauty of this great country, COLOMBIA.
We traveled to the National Park of Coffee on our way to a district conference in Armenia.

                                  Pdte y Hermana Wakefield              The missionaries find Pdte Prince wherever we are!
                                                arrving by cable car                                         Even in the Bamboo forest!!

President Juan Valdez and his Senora
In front of the new mission home...! (j/k)

And we DID make it to the district conference in Armenia.
Here we all are with President Londono and his wife.

The treasure of this country is not found in their countryside
"..their land also is full of silver and god, neither is there any end of their treasures;..."
2 Nephi 12:7
the treasure of this country is found in the people
especially in the faithful saints
"...they lay up for themselves treasures in heaven, yea,
 which is eternal, and which fadeth not away..."  Helaman 5:8
with the investigators of Elders Cachi and Asmat...what a choice little family!

And we TREASURE the opportunity to be here working
with them in this corner of the Lord's vineyard.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Is there a Doctor in the house???

This round of zone conferences we were accompanied by
the Area Medical Advisor, Doctor Henderson, and his sweet wife. 

He visited clinics, talked to the missionaries about the job they have
to take care of their health while they are on the Lord's errand, and helped
us get current on Typhoid vaccinations.
It is always good when they leave smiling after their vaccination!!

Elders Alzamora y Almendares

The health of our missionaries is always a priority of our stewardship.
We have missionaries with ingrown toenails, sore backs, migraines, viruses,
common colds, sore knees, insomnia, fatigue, etc.
They continue to get up in the morning with great faith to share the gospel.
We are grateful to have had a doctor in the house, but the greatest
of all healings comes when souls repent and lives change.
"...come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them"
3 Nephi 18:32

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Ins and Outs...

Like the waves in the ocean
Missionaries go out and missionaries come in
Some come in with a great splash
Others leave me in a puddle of tears as they leave

Elders Venegas, Flores, Cabezas, Martinez, Chipunavi, and Alfaro

These great missionaries are leaving us after having helped the mission to achieve
the highest monthly mark of baptisms in the last 10 years.
In April we had 160 baptisms in the mission. 
These dedicated Elders are now ready to help their home wards progress and grow.
I can't wait to hear about the futures of some of these great Elders...
they are sure to be leaders.                

On May 1st the plane rolled in to Cali with 14 new missionaries.
Included in this group of great young men are
8 North Americans who are our first group to have attended the MTC in Bogota.
We could tell the difference in how they have adapted to the language, culture, and food.

We had a welcome lunch and visited Cristo Rey.

and then that evening we all attended a baptism together...that is what we do in this mission!!

The following day was full of training and meeting their new trainers
(although 3 elders had to wait until the following day as they had 10 hour bus rides to their areas!)

In with the new
out with the experienced...

Elders Garcia, Barón, and Gimenez
have all served as zone leaders, helped with new missionaries,
and stayed a few extra days to help us through this transfer cycle.

We welcome missionaries IN to the mission with warm handshakes
send them OUT to their homes with strong hugs.
They have come into our lives forever.